Keep kids road trip-happy with these great audiobooks

About a year or so ago, I started having my kids listen to audiobooks in the car. We don’t have long commutes – their school is less than ten minutes’ drive from our house. But with two rambunctious boys – one a five-year-old and the other a seven-year-old – audiobooks can help make these drives a peaceful one. Needless to say a long road trip.

I started out with the Harry Potter series. I had wanted to get them started on the books but ahem, got tired of reading out loud. So I turned to the professionals. In this case, Stephen Fry who narrates the series (Jim Dale narrates the US version) and he definitely does a fantastic job with the voices.

And from there we have taken off into so many different standalone books and series! Here are some great ones.

The Wild Robot – Peter Brown

This is a great story about a robot that lands up on a remote island and befriends the wildlife that live there, especially this little orphaned gosling. Love the gentle narration by Kate Atwater and the sound effects – not too obtrusive, just nice.

This also goes for the second book in the series, The Wild Robot Escapes.

Mr Popper’s Penguins – Richard Atwater, Florence Atwater, read by Nick Sullivan

The kids thought this audiobook was a hoot.

Wings of Fire series, beginning with The Dragonet Prophecy – Tui T Sutherland, read by Shannon McManus

I have to admit that I tend to tune out this audiobook so I haven’t followed along that much. It’s really long! And there are so many books! But I guess for kids it’s really fascinating as there are seven different dragon tribes who are at war. And the book is all-dragon, all the time. The kids have finished book four and are eagerly waiting to listen to the next one.

James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl, read by Julian Rhind-Tutt

Classic story, great narration!

Harry Potter series – JK Rowling, read by Stephen Fry (the US version is read by Jim Dale)

What can I say, I enjoyed listening to the audiobooks every bit as much as the kids did.

Some books that didn’t work as well for us:

The Mysterious Benedict Society – Trenton Lee Stewart, read by Del Roy

The boys listened to the first few minutes but said they didn’t like the narrator’s voice! I guess we may have to try this in print form

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein, read by Jesse Bernstein

This audiobook, for the most part, worked great. But there are some parts of the story that should be read instead of listened to, because they were clues to the game in the story. So maybe in this case the audiobook needs a print book to be read alongside.



  1. I’ve been wondering about The Wild Robot because its cover always catches my eye. It sounds like one my 9yo would really enjoy.

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